Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
January 13th, 2003

What To Do When The Big Bear Comes
Bob Lawless, Port Ludlow, WA

In my constant endeavor to enlighten my dearest and only readers, both of them, I have elected to apprize you of the different ways one might react to the charge of a massive Grizzly Bear when, for example, you are fly fishing in Alaska for some of the fabulous anadromous fish that climb her rivers. Problem is that you are not the only animal who thinks the fishing is good. There's those nasty big brown jobs, Grizzly Bears. I use upper case to express my fear of these bears. I have read stories about them. I have seen them in the Olympic Game Farm. There's a huge boar that greets you as you enter the park and one day he said to me, "If I ever get out of here and I catch you somewhere, I'm going to tear out your jalapenos first and eat them slowly and then maybe a nice chunk out of your meaty looking shoulder and then...." I can't go on with this conversation because it scares me. He was not a nice person and I'm wondering if there is anything such as a nice person when it comes to the furry ones, the half toners, the speedsters (I have read where grizzlies can overtake a race horse for a short distance, enough to deliver a horrific blow with their front paw, snapping the horse's neck) you know, those baddies, are they ever nice? No, I don't think so.

So you can avoid Alaska or British Columbia and stay safe. (Did I mention Yellowstone Park?) But believe me, my dearest and only friends, you will miss some of the greatest moments of your angling career. Therefore, I want to school you in several methods by which you can avoid injury. Moreover, I want to end those night terrors you frequently have where the bear is about to kill you and somehow your gun does not operate correctly, you can't find the proper bullets, etc. and so you awaken, screaming at the top of your lungs.

Let us cut the anecdotes and get on with meat of this story, the part you can actually use, the part which you will never forget, especially if you are charged by Mr. UglyBadAssBear. You are fishing and along comes a huge boar; he doesn't like you(what else is new?), and he breaks into a mind-boggling, wide open charge. Pick one of the below and see what happens:

    1. Snap your rod over your knee and throw it at him (remember it carries a guarantee for this sort of thing), act vicious yourself, snarl and roar with all your might. Move toward the bear, clacking your teeth, kicking viciously; a lot of water should land in his face. Wave him toward you as if you just can't wait to get into a fight. Spit a lot. Glare with all your might. I mean fake like your one big bad ass yourself and you'd just love to kick his caddis. This will usually work in nine out of ten cases, but for that one time in ten when it seems to be failing go on to number two.

    2. Pretend you don't give a fat damn about his stinking charge. You couldn't care less about this. Pick at a hang-nail or check your arms for some sort of an annoyance that requires your immediate attention. Pretend you are looking for geese or ducks. Go on fishing as if nothing is up. Or check your leader for wind knots, frays, etc. Even if there are none, pretend that there are. This is a game of acting, of good acting, so don't get hung up on reality or lack of props. You do have a hangnail! If he keeps coming, go on to number three.

    3.Try your favorite biblical scriptures. "Do unto others as you would have then do unto you." (Deut. 4:12) "Thou shall not kill." (Heathens 1:40) Leave unto fishermen what is the fishermen's; leave unto bears what is the bear's." (Law. 1) Or use whatever else you can think of. By the way, I'm not sure of my biblical references but the bear won't notice this as I am almost certain they are not much on the reading of the Bible... Can't read. No Bible. No book shelves etc.

    4. Play dead. Roll into a fetal ball; protect your ears from being torn off and eaten. Keep your groin held tight between your thighs. There's nothing worse, I am told, than a big bite out of your groin. If this fails, try number 5.

    5. Run like hell! I know everyone advises against this but it might work. Maybe the bear is full of fish, has gas problems, and does not feel like a run, however short it might be. So he gives up and you are safe. Tell that to the "experts." If five fails, go back to number 1 and start over. Or:

    6. Say goodbye to the river, the fish, the eagles, your eyeballs, and other unimportant parts. Make peace. Tell the bear that, while his breath and attitude stink, you think he's really not a bad fellow and you wish all this ugliness could have been avoided somehow. Then, RIP. ~ BOBLAWLESS

    Publishers Note: This is humor. It is not intended as serious advice. Do not write me.

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